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Kodagu floods: Karnataka seeks Rs 2,000 crore in financial aid from Centre

The chief minister’s disaster relief fund has so far received Rs 25.16 crore in private contributions and Rs 102 crore through a decision of state government employees to forego a day’s salary.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2018 12:01 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Karnataka flood,Karnataka,HD Kumaraswamy
Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy at a press conference in Bengaluru recently. (PTI Photo)

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Friday said he has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide Rs 2,000 crore in financial assistance to flood-ravaged Kodagu district.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the state’s southwestern district witnessed the highest rainfall for the month in the last 87 years. “The damage caused due to heavy rains in Kodagu amounts to around Rs 3,000 crore. I have written a letter seeking immediate assistance of Rs 2,000 crore from the central government,” the chief minister said.

According to Kumaraswamy, the chief minister’s disaster relief fund has so far received Rs 25.16 crore in private contributions and Rs 102 crore through a decision of state government employees to forego a day’s salary. “I want to thank all these people for their help on behalf of the government,” he said.

Rural development minister Krishna Byregowda said the state also plans to send a memorandum listing out the damages suffered by the district. “We hope the Centre responds at the earliest, so we can respond adequately to the people’s sufferings and provide them with timely relief,” he added.

The minister, however, castigated the Centre for not coming forward to offer assistance on its own. “We have not received enough support from the Government of India so far. However, we do hope they will respond to our written request at the earliest,” he said.

Incidentally, Kodagu district in-charge minister Sa Ra Mahesh and Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman had entered into a spat on the same day. The incident occurred when Mahesh asked Sitharaman to stick to her schedule during a press conference held as part of her visit to Kodagu for reviewing relief work.

“I follow the minister in-charge... central minister follows the minister in-charge here. Unbelievable!” Sitharaman was heard telling the Karnataka minister upon being told that the officials in attendance were getting delayed. “You have a list of minute-to-minute for me to follow. If you had a different opinion, you should have sorted it earlier instead of putting me in this embarrassing position.”

Mahesh later told mediapersons that he had only asked the minister to stick to the schedule after she got caught up in a meeting with an RSS-affiliated group. The issue at hand, he clarified, happened to be a review meeting with the district deputy commissioner and other field officials at 11.30 am that was getting delayed.

“I merely pointed out that the meeting with the waiting officials would take hardly five minutes, and she could continue with her other engagements after that,” said Mahesh.

It may be noted that Kerala, which suffered a loss of at least Rs 20,000 crore due to floods, was granted an interim financial package of just Rs 500 crore by the Centre.

First Published: Aug 25, 2018 12:01 IST